Tompion and the Golden Age: English Clocks 1675-1725 at Howard Walwyn Fine Antique Clocks, 123 Kensington Church Street, W8 7LP, until 14th December
To mark the opening of his new gallery leading antique clock specialist Howard Walwyn hosts an exhibition Tompion and the Golden Age which also marks the three hundredth anniversary of Thomas Tompion’s death in November 1713. He was clockmaker to Charles II, James II, William and Mary and Queen Anne and is regarded as the foremost English clockmaker. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.
A fine James II period, ebony veneered, striking repeating bracket clock with a substantial twin fusee 8-day movement. A rare model, few were made with this movement by Tompion.
By Thomas Tompion of London
Ht: 12 3/8 in (31.5 cm)
Provenance: This clock appears to have been in the same family for a great many generations and possibly since shortly after it was made. It is said to have been given by Queen Anne to a Miss Nicol who was a member of the Royal household and has come down by descent. If this is the case, the clock would have been some twenty years old at the time of the gift from the Queen
What makes this exhibition very special, given the relatively small number of clocks made by Tompion still in existence, is that three clocks – a Phase I ebony striking table clock, a rare 30-hour japanned longcase and a miniature striking lantern clock – are for sale (two of which sold on the opening night!).
An important month duration Queen Anne period longcase clock, its magnificent case constructed principally of oak and veneered with the finest burr walnut. The month duration movement is an example of Quare’s finest work.
Made by Daniel Quare of London.
Ht: 117 1/4 in (298 cm) including top finial
Alongside these are a number of works by other leading clockmakers of the period and later, including a highly important longcase clock by Daniel Quare, who was also a Royal clockmaker. There is a tavern clock by George III’s clockmaker Justin Vulliamy, unusual because of its tear-drop shaped trunk, as well as the rare one illustrated here by Thomas Chappell.
Thomas Chappell – Tavern clock
An exceptionally rare George II period shield dial Tavern Clock of most unusual elongated form, the 8 Day movement with rectangular shaped plates. On the dial below the chapter ring are two outer angels playing trumpets and a central angel holding a scythe and an hour glass. The chinoiserie decoration on the door is also very distinctive with sun and clouds at the top and an intimate dining scene below.
Date: circa 1755
Height: 64 in (165 cm)
There is also a selection of other clocks and barometers from the 17th to the early 19th centuries, which are shown in a mixture of period and contemporary settings.
Tompion – Bracket or table clock – back plate
ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT